Sunday, August 29, 2004

Hero with Jet Li, not the Dustin Hoffman movie

So, I promised a review on Friday. If you followed my advice (which, since no one is reading this blog yet, is highly unlikely) you saw a really beautiful film. Chris Doyle, the Director of Photography is unbelievable, and most of his other recent films have not been epics like this but smaller films. In any case, I plan to seek out his other work to view it. But back to Hero...

I expected the wire fu and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes. I even expected some mystical aspects. What I didn't expect was the message and how it would make me think about the film after I saw it. The artistry on the screen stays with you, but the message sticks in your head. To summarize the film: Jet Li plays a warrior who is summoned by the Emperor to tell how he has supposedly killed three assassins who threatened the Emperor. Jet Li appears and tells his tale, but the Emperor doesn't believe his story. The stories are told in flashbacks with alternate stories presented.

The "message" of the film I keep referring to is difficult to discuss without spoiling the film, but I'll try. One character in the film says that the Emperor must not be killed because though he is a murdering tyrant he is working for the greater good of uniting the warring factions of China (which 2000 years ago was not a single united country but 8 provinces with their own warlords). The question raised here is, do the ends justify the means? Is this character right? And not only that, if looked through the lens of the Chinese government today, is it mere propaganda to support a Communist paradigm (the whole is greater than the one)?

I'll admit, I just woke up about 20 minutes ago, so I'm not in full pontificating mode yet. When I am (and after I've done some reading on China), I'll be back to ponder more.

In any case, go see Hero. If for no other reason, so you can help me sort all of this out...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Remake report

Here are the notable films being remade by Hollywood. As I always say, no previously made film escapes the recycle bin...

First up, is The Bad Seed. No writer as of yet and no cast. Still, I lay odds this one will get made. Horror films are cheap and they make good money.

Second, and reported more widely is a remake of the 1977 film Oh, God! with Ellen DeGeneres to star as God (in a role previously filled by George Burns). Again, with a star attached, very likely to be made.

The Munsters is being revived by the Wayans Bros. God (or Ellen DeGeneres) help us.

Vanishing Point, a remake of the 1971 film about a man who bets he can drive cross-country in 15 hours. I'll have to investigate the previously made film to determine if this is worthy of a remake or if it is likely. Tony Scott's production company has the rights so I'd say it is 50/50 right now.

Bang the Drum Slowly -- The 70's are providing lots of remake material this week. The original was released in 1973 about the relationship between a pitcher and a catcher, as one of them is diagnosed with cancer. This needs a remake?

Finally, on a related note, The Untouchables may be getting a prequel, focusing on Capone's rise to power in Chicago. No word on casting.

Your weekly move recommendation

Since my second web career is as a Film Critic, I recommend you see the film Hero being released this weekend. I'll post a review after I see it tomorrow.

Would you run into a burning bus to save Pluto?

Disney bus catches fire. The good news: the bus driver did a great job getting everyone off the bus, so no injuries. Shut down the Beeline though, which could not have been fun for commuters.

Flying Cars!!

Yes!! At long last, the answer to my constant questions "where the flip is my flying car already??" It is linked from Drudge so expect delays.

UPDATE: Here's a new link for the Flying Car story. I'm 25 years from my flying car. Somebody should be looking into funding for that rather than on sugar cane growing subsidies. After all, I don't need more sugar in my diet, but I do need a flying car!